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Category Archives: Solar System: Moons
Enceladus is a medium-size moon of Saturn, with a diameter of about 500 km. Its surface temperature is quite chilly, ranging between 32.9 K (-240 degrees Celsius) and 145 K (-128 degrees Celsius); this is partially because of its distance from the Sun, and also because of its highly reflective surface. The entire moon is … Continue reading Enceladus → Continue reading → Continue reading
The only kind of lock in space with no key. Tidal locking is when one hemisphere of a revolving body constantly faces the object it rotates around, or as wikipedia says more jargon-y, “when the long-term interaction between a pair of co-orbiting astronomical bodiesdrives the rotation rates into a harmonic ratio with the orbital period. In the figure … Continue reading Tidal Locking → Continue reading → Continue reading
I know what you’re thinking so let’s get that out of the way. High tide would be a lot higher. Whenever the two moons are aligned on the same side of Earth, their combined gravitational pull would increase the tide significantly. This would probably push civilization further inland, as living near a coast or river … Continue reading What if the Earth had 2 moons → Continue reading → Continue reading
At the end of this month, on January 31st, we will be oh so lucky enough to witness several lunar events happening at the same time. The… Read more “Every Once in A “Purple” Moon” Continue reading → Continue reading
Or something like that. Wow! On January 31st, 3 lunar events will coincide for the first time since March of 1866 resulting in the Moon appearing bigger, redder, and also bluer? This is what cool scientists call a “Super Blue Blood Moon.” When the Moon is at its perigee, the closest point to Earth in … Continue reading Super Blue Blood Moon Blue Snow Super Blood Blue → Continue reading → Continue reading
In the quest to find habitable bodies, Jupiter’s moon Europa has been a high priority on the exploration list due to its liquid saltwater ocean underneath its ice crust. Three key ingredients for life must be present in order for biological activity to take place: liquid water, chemical ingredients, and energy sources able to enable […]Continue reading → Continue reading
One of Saturn’s moons, we discussed in class interesting details of Enceladus. The most notable of these is the geysers of water and the potential subsurface ocean. Methane found among other particles in the water vapor plume have led researchers to consider a subsurface ocean as the origin of this methane. Because of the high … Continue reading Blog 5: Enceladus’ OceanContinue reading → Continue reading
The appearance of an impressive annular eclipse is slated to take place later this month, Sunday the 26th, in the southern half of the world. The eclipse is scheduled to appear west of Southern Chile, with the best viewings possible from Angola, the Democratic Republic of Congo, and Zambia. An annular solar eclipse occurs when the […]Continue reading → Continue reading
Through the use of computer modeling, a team of NASA scientists have confirmed that Jupiter’s largest moon, Ganymede, contains water under its icy top layers. New modeling that takes into account salinity of the planet’s water suggests that below the surface … Continue reading → Continue reading → Continue reading
Saturn’s rings are large, 175,000 miles across large, but as the old adage goes-bigger is better. Scientists looking at exoplanets have discovered a planet with rings 200 times larger than that of Saturn’s. The planet itself, known as J1407b, is … Continue reading → Continue reading → Continue reading